Rangers Prospect Report: 12/1 to 12/7

Rangers-Chrome-Stadium-Series-The Rangers have sent through the following report on their prospects for the first week in December:

Three Stars of the Week:

1: Adam Tambellini, C, Calgary Hitmen (WHL) – Tambellini began this past week by registering three points (one goal, two assists) and posting a plus-three rating on December 2 against Red Deer. He followed that performance by tallying a goal and posting a plus-two rating in each of Calgary’s next two contests on December 5 against Edmonton and December 7 against Moose Jaw. He finished the week with five points (three goals, two assists) and a plus-seven rating in three games.

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Read: Rangers Prospect Report (11/24 to 11/30)

RangersThe Rangers have sent through the following report on their prospects for the week of 11/24 to 11/30:

1.   Cristoval Nieves, C, University of Michigan (NCAA) – Nieves tied single-game collegiate career-highs with two goals and three points, and registered two power play points (one goal, one assist) in Michigan’s 6-0 victory over RPI on November 29. He has tallied a point in eight of his last 10 games (four goals, six assists), and six of his last seven games (four goals, four assists over the span).

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Read: Boo Nieves is struggling for the second straight season

Boo Nieves was expected to rebound from a so-so season last year at Michigan but has “looked uncomfortable” on the ice and struggled to gain chemistry with any linemates. (HF)

His overall game has improved but his offensive game has not grown to the level that the Rangers had hoped. Nieves shows his offense in flashes but has struggles with consistency which is “troubling” for an upperclassman. (HF)

Nieves can have “great moments” due to his speed and skills but can also be “invisible” for long stretches. (ESPN Insider)

During the summer Nieves dropped to 17th in the Rangers prospect rankings due to a tough sophomore season and because of new talent added to the system. (HF)

This season in nine games for Michigan, Nieves has one goal and four assists.

For more on Boo Nieves, CLICK HERE.

Read: Where Boo Nieves is right now as a prospect

After a freshman series where he put up 8 goals and 21 assists in 41 games, it was wondered if Boo Nieves could take a step this season and maybe lead Michigan in scoring, maybe make the USA World Junior team and possibly leave college after two seasons. (Coming Down The Pipe)

In 34 games as a sophomore this season, Nieves had 3 goals and 19 assists.

Nieves moved from wing to center in his sophomore season and while he had a down statistical year and didn’t make Team USA, he is still a good prospect who has the tools to be a good NHL player. He has good playmaking skills, is a good skater and has tools that will translate to the NHL level. (Dobber)

Nieves missed the net as much as he hit it this past season and the Rangers are looking for him to be more of a “crash the net” type of player, where he has been succesful in the past. (Hockey’s Future)

Nieves did not attend the Rangers prospect camp in early July because he was taking classes at Michigan.

For more on Boo Nieves, CLICK HERE.

Nieves still has two-years of college eligibility left at the University of Michigan.

Read: Boo Nieves Shows Flashes and Wants To Be a 200ft Player

Boo Nieves played in two split squad games and three full squad games for Team USA at the WJC evaluation camp last week.

Chris Peters, at the United States of Hockey, writes that Nieves continued his streak of flashing his talent on one shift and then fading away on the next. Peters says that with the “size, speed and skill” that Nieves has, he should never be a player who fades away but adds that his potential is “off the charts.”

On his time at the USA camp, Boo told SNY’s Nick Licalzi that he enjoyed playing in different roles and showing his versatility, “I’m not used to penalty kill, I’m used to being a top-two line guy and power play guy but it was the opposite in this camp. I think I showed that I am versatile and can play anywhere.”

On his goal for this season, Boo says that he wants to be more consistent,  a 200ft player, better defensively and put up more points.

For more on Boo Nieves, CLICK HERE.

At the United States of Hockey, Chris Peters writes that Nieves isn’t a lock to make the team but could earn a spot on Team USA with a substantial role at Michigan during the first half of the year/

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Read: Boo Nieves Could Be Special/Who He Models His Game After/Timetable

Chris Peters writes at the United States of Hockey that Boo Nieves lacks that little bit of “finish” that would make him a “deadly” player. Peters says that Boo needs more development and that “if he ever puts it all together he could be extremely productive.”

Peters adds that Boo is on the verge of being a “special prospect” and that his speed and skill are close to “high end” but he is struggling to finish.

Nieves told SNY’s Nick Licalzi that he tries to model his game after Joe Thornton, saying that Thornton is a big, fast center who can move the puck really well. Nieves said that he is a better puck mover than he is a finisher.

Over the past few days Boo has told Nick:

  • He normally plays center at Michigan.
  • His best assets are his speed, “speed kills and you can’t teach it” and his size “with my size, it’s pretty unstoppable when you are playing quick and big.”
  • He is more offensive than defensive and his defensive game needs a bit of work
  • He wants to improve his consistency, “Some shifts I am making plays while other shifts I am just blending in. I need to make a difference every single shift.”
  • He doesn’t have a timetable for turning pro, “I am taking everything as it comes. It’s fun to go to NY and skate with those guys. I am trying to develop my game at Michigan and go from there.”
  • When he speaks with the Rangers the topics are never too serious and they just have him focus on working hard.
  • His coaches at Michigan are honest with him and have him working on things he needs to get better at. When talking about this he mentioned back checking and faceoffs.

In describing Boo’s game, Licalzi said, after the USA win over Finland on Thursday, that “Nieves was real good again, shows flashes of a ton of potential…great speed….seems like he’s going to fit in as another solid all around American born Ranger.”

For more on Boo, CLICK HERE.

Read: Brady Skjei and Boo Nieves Last Night and Today

SkjeiLast night Team USA lost 4-0 to Sweden and as of right now, they are tied 3-3 with Finland.

Brady Skjei is not in the lineup for Team USA against Finland, he is believed to be closer to locking up a spot and they want to see some other players, but did play against Sweden and SNY’s Nick Licalzi said that he had a quiet game with a couple of mistakes.

Skjei spoke with Licalzi and said that Team USA just didn’t have the right energy last night. He also noted that he sees himself more as a shooter on the PP than a set up guy.

Chris Peters tweeted yesterday that Skjei has improved a lot since last year’s WJC camp and has been more decisive with his play.

Peters expanded at the United States of Hockey and said that he is making quicker decisions, unlike last year when he was hesitant, and is using his skating ability

Boo Nieves played last night and is playing today against Finland.

Last night, Licalzi said that when Boo saw consistent shifts he was effective. Today, Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News tweeted that Nieves has been showing his speed not only on offense but on defense as well.

Peters said that Nieves showed off his speed and skill at various times last night. Today, Peters noted that Nieves was one of the standout players in the second period.